Fruits of Righteousness (Philippians 1:11)


At one time, I was traveling each week to some point in the country for a speaking engagement. At first, my trips were ill prepared leaving me many times at a hotel without all of essentials that I needed. Eventually, I created a packing list. It was a listed all the items that I needed for traveling and the list remained in the suitcase. In the event that I traveled and discovered that I had a new need, I would add that item to the list. Eventually, I had the perfect list. All I needed to do was check and make sure that everything on the list was packed and if it was, I was set.

Some people try to use the same process in their spiritual lives. They have a list and it contains the “do’s” and “don’ts” for righteous living. In their minds, if they do the things on the “do” list and refrain from items on the “don’t” list, then they are spiritual. I really wish it were that easy, but it is not.

Being spiritual is when a person lives as God expects them to live. In other words, the actions of the person’s life will be righteous. The problem is that any action that may appear to be righteous can also be sinful. For example, is giving to the poor a spiritual or righteous action? It could be, but it also could be sinful. If a person gave because God led them to give, then the action would be spiritual or righteous. However, if the person gave so that they would be recognized, then the same action would be sinful.

Being spiritual cannot be reduced to a list of “do’s” and “don’ts”. Instead, the spiritual life of living as God expects and desires is accomplished by abiding or dwelling in Jesus. When we do this, Jesus lives his righteous life through us. This is know as grace living. Grace living is when God empowers us by living his life through us and the righteous actions of our lives then are really though Jesus Christ.

Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:11)

Instead of trying to manufacture a righteous life, why not instead focus on abiding with Christ. As you do, he will enable you to live beyond your ability. If you don’t, you will experience so much frustration and failure, because without his empowerment, you can do nothing.

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (John 15:5)

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God’s Support (Psalm 145:14)

The Lord upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down. Psalm 145:14

Every year I look forward to growing tomatoes in my garden. My plants usually grow more than seven feet tall and yield large softball sized fruit. Because of this, I would drive poles into the ground and tie the plants to the poles. As the plants grew and bore their heavy fruit, the poles would prop up the plants. Did you know that The Lord does the same for us?

When he upholds us, it can also be said that he is propping us up. When we fall, he brings the support into our lives to keep us standing and from falling again. Falling down does not necessarily mean falling to sin, but it can also mean being fallen, cast down or bowed down from the burdens of life. From this verse we can be assured of the promise that when our hearts are fallen from the burdens of life, The Lord will be there to raise us up and provide the support needed for us to stand.

If you are fallen, don’t plan on remaining there because The Lord is behind you and ready to pick you up.